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Job Stress Among Female Flight Attendants

MacDonald, Leslie A. ScD; Deddens, James A. PhD; Grajewski, Barbara A. PhD; Whelan, Elizabeth A. PhD; Hurrell, Joseph J. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: July 2003 - Volume 45 - Issue 7 - p 703-714
doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000071509.96740.dd

We evaluated the presence of chronic job stressors among flight attendants (FAs) to examine the relationships between these job stressors and psychological distress and job dissatisfaction. Seventy-three female FAs (90% participation) employed at two commercial airlines completed a detailed questionnaire. Standard questions and scale measures were used to assess job stressors, psychological distress, and job dissatisfaction. The association between job stressors and these outcomes was evaluated using multiple regression analysis. Except for fatigue, distress and job dissatisfaction were moderate to low. Job stressors were found to have a substantive effect on these outcomes, following adjustment for individual factors. Despite moderate-to-low levels of distress and dissatisfaction, targeted efforts to reduce selected job stressors and to enhance social support may be important steps toward improving the well-being and satisfaction of FAs.

From the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies, Industrywide Studies Branch (Dr MacDonald, Dr. Deddens, Dr Grajewski, Dr Whelan, Dr Hurrell), and University of Cincinnati, Department of Mathematical Sciences (Dr Deddens), Cincinnati, Ohio.

Address correspondence to: Leslie MacDonald, ScD, Research Ergonomist, Industrywide Studies Branch, Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies, 4676 Columbia Parkway, MS R-15, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1998; E-mail:

This article was written by an officer or employee of the U.S. Government as part of his/her official duties and is therefore not subject to U.S. copyright.

©2003The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine